Skiing: Vikings sweep high school season opener

Total domination.

Those two words described what South Tahoe High School did to its Tahoe Basin League skiing foes at the season opener Wednesday at Alpine Meadows.

The Vikings swept first place in the boys' and girls' giant slalom races, won the boys' and girls' team titles and took first place in both of the junior varsity races in a mix of drizzle, fog and snow.

"It was kind of a first for us," said South Tahoe coach Mike Shreve, noting that in the current structure of the league the Vikings had never accomplished that feat.

"There is a lot of history that these kids bring to the table, and today they delivered."

South Tahoe sophomore Maddie Bowman won the girls' varsity title with a combined two-run time of 1 minutes, 1.27 seconds, while Vikings' junior Mikey Suglian edged Incline's Fulton Alexander by .09 in winning the boys' varsity race in 58.46.

The talented Bowman is best known in the area for her burgeoning freeride career, but on Wednesday she showed her diversified talent.

"She is a tremendous athlete," Shreve said. "She's also a freerider, and that's where a majority of her practice is. Today, she pulled the rabbit out of the hat and went for it."

The South Tahoe girls were much more than a one-racer team on Wednesday. Six Vikings finished among the top 13 to give them a comfortable winning margin over runner-up North Tahoe.

South Tahoe senior Ashley Killeen's third-place time of 1:02.14 left her only .40 behind runner-up Hillary Sapp of Douglas and .87 behind Bowman. The Vikings' Melissa Smith was ninth at 1:06.34, Lindsey Buchanan took 11th at 1:07.19, Kelsey Henderson finished 12th in 1:07.43 and Melissa Ewing came in 13th at 1:07.49.

Douglas' Crystal Rutledge was sixth with a time of 1:04.49.

"The girls were phenomenal today," Shreve said. "Over the past five years, we've only had one or two in the top 10."

The South Tahoe boys were packed even tighter toward the top in building a 38-point clearance of runner-up Truckee.

Following Suglian's lead were Luca Genasci in fourth place at 59.79, then Erich Baumann in sixth (1:01.62), Jake Daum in ninth (1:03.84) and Mark Bergsohn in 10th (1:03.89).

Whittell racers Simon Nikles and Hughston Norton made their presences known in the opener. Nikles finished fifth in 1:01.19, while Norton, a freshman, came in seventh at 1:02.09. Their efforts nearly pushed the Warriors past North Tahoe into third place. The Lakers edged the Warriors by a point.

"Missing two racers, I was very pleased how the race turned out, especially since it was our first experience with gates," said Whittell coach Patrick Kelly. "The entire team did a great job of coming out and skiing hard."

The Warriors competed without Austin Norton, a junior, and top female racer Whitney Gardner, who were competing in junior races at Mammoth.

Other top finishes for the Whittell boys were Cody Dangtongdee placing 23rd and Sean Sullivan taking 26th.

For the Whittell girls, Rachel Laub led the way in 15th place (1:08.49), while freshman Chelsea Pfotenhauer placed 29th and sophomore Lexi Brooks finished 33rd.

The league will return to Alpine Meadows on Jan. 6 for another GS race.


Wednesday's GS at Alpine Meadows

Girls' team scores

1. South Tahoe 172, 2. North Tahoe 159, 3. Truckee 150, 4. Douglas 127, 5. Whittell 82, 6. Incline 39.

Girls' top 10

1. Maddie Bowman, South Tahoe, 1:01.27

2. Hillary Sapp, Douglas, 1:01.74

3. Ashley Killeen, ST, 1:02.14

4. Kelsey Wittles, North Tahoe, 1:02.50

5. Ali Gerrard, Truckee, 1:03.99

6. Crystal Rutledge, Douglas, 1:04.49

7. Tannyr Pasvantis, North Tahoe, 1:06.12

8. Taylor Pasvantis, North Tahoe, 1:06.29

9. Melissa Smith, ST, 1:06.34

10. Danielle Smallman, Truckee, 1:06.53

Boys' team scores

1. South Tahoe 176, 2. Truckee 138, 3. North Tahoe 134, 4. Whittell 133, 5. Incline 114, 6. Douglas 91.

Boys' top 10

1. Mikey Suglian, South Tahoe, 58.46

2. Fulton Alexander, Incline, 58.55

3. Nico Monforte, North Tahoe, 59.68

4. Luca Genasci, ST, 59.79

5. Simon Nikles, Whittell, 1:01.19

6. Erich Baumann, ST, 1:01.62

7. Hughston Norton, Whittell, 1:02.09

8. Bedient Davis, Incline, 1:03.74

9. Jake Daum, ST, 1:03.84

10. Mark Bergsohn, ST, 1:03.89

Overall team scores

1. South Tahoe 348, 2. North Tahoe 293, 3. Truckee 288, 4. Douglas 218, 5. Whittell 215, 6. Incline 153.


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